It was Wilson A. Bentley who said he’d “never seen two snowflakes alike”. And people trusted the Vermont farmer because he was a pioneer in photographing snowflakes in the early twentieth century. But Bentley only photographed a little more than 5000. Then in 1988, while looking under a microscope at high altitude, Nancy Knight, a research scientist, saw what appeared to be two identical snowflakes. Bentley’s myth was melted.
‘But hang on’ the scientists amongst you will shout, ‘At a molecular level nothing is identical’. Which is true and an incredible fact to consider. But imagine if we needed a microscope to see the difference between other humans. Imagine if it was commonplace to meet doppelgangers (identical versions of yourself) in the street each day. But the truth is, even the pictures at online doppelganger websites aren’t always that impressive.
The wonderful thing about the world God has designed is how different everything is. There are so many categories and sub categories of ‘stuff’. And within those categories – whether it’s galaxies or plants or animals or landscapes… each instance manages to be magnificently different.
Just compare our real world to the online world of Minecraft (look it up or ask anyone under the age of 20). Our world is so rich in variety that, at times it can shock the senses – from grotesque lantern fish at the bottom of the ocean to the great mountain ranges of the world. And despite the combined research of the world’s scientists we can still only guess at the variety and total numbers of unique creatures and plants.
The variety in God’s creation is exuberant, extravagant, lavish. Only the tiniest, infinitesimally small fraction is ever seen or appreciated by human eyes. Which is worth pondering if you think God is boring and unimaginative. He’s not. And despite the vastness of the cosmos his gaze is most of all towards the human creatures he loves more than anything else.
The world God gave us is endlessly fascinating and complicated. The bible says it shows God’s wisdom and points to his eternal power and divine nature. But the most fascinating and complex place of all you can look at is God himself. His character is revealed in the pages of the Bible. The Bible says that the wise thing to do is thank God and praise him. Will you do that today?
Prayer: Dear God, your world is so rich and diverse in all its parts. Thank you for your creative power and the love you show to your creatures.
Bible verse: ‘Oh Lord, how many and various are your works’ Psalm 104:24